Hobbymaster 1/48th scale HA8904 Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat “White F-15” LTCDR Edward H. “Butch” O’Hare VF-3, USS Lexington, WWII. Buy online now at Flying Tigers.
Early in the Pacific War in WWII the Grumman F4F Wildcat was the best fighter aircraft the U.S. had but was out performed by the Japanese Zero. The Wildcat’s folding wings allowed for a greater number of aircraft that could be carried but added extra weight and reduced the aircraft performance. New features such as self-sealing fuel tanks, heavy armor made up for the Wildcat’s lesser performance. By the end of WWII the F4F had flown approximately 15,500 sorties with a kill ratio of 6.9 victories to 1.
On February 20, 1942 LTCDR Edward Henry “Butch” O’Hare became the USN’s first Ace and two months later was awarded the Medal of Honor, the first WWII USN pilot to do so. On February 20, 1942 O’Hare attacked a formation of nine Japanese Mitsubishi G4M “Betty” bombers and single handedly shot down five of the attackers and damaged a sixth. On the night of November 26, 1943 O’Hare was shot down and was never found. He was awarded the Navy
Cross posthumously. In his honor a USN destroyer and Chicago’s Orchard Depot Airport were named O’Hare.